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Curaçao is probably the most popular licensing authority for online casinos aside from famous jurisdictions like Malta and the UK. Because the island has been offering licenses since 1996, there are many casinos that are registered on Curaçao and do business from the Dutch Antilles island, which belongs to the government of the Netherlands. For casino operators, Curaçao offers many advantages. Applying for a license is particularly quick and relatively inexpensive compared to others. But what about the players at the casinos licensed by Curaçao? How reliable is a permit from Curaçao? Below you can find out everything about the various conditions and components and thus assess the reliability of the license for yourself.
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More information about Curaçao eGaming
Applying for a permit in Curaçao is slightly different from most other jurisdictions. Instead of a gambling license, you have to apply for a so-called IP license for eGaming in Curaçao. IP stands for Information Provider. Within the scope of this license, you can also offer online games of chance.
One can apply in different ways for this license. The most notable is through the Curaçao eGaming website, which is very similar to an official government website, but apparently not official at all. Because the official government agency Curaçao Internet Gaming Association (or CIGA for short) does not have its own website. Some sources say that Curaçao eGaming is an official CIGA licensing company, but there is no reference to this on the website. The main competitor, Gaming Curaçao, also speaks against this.
Both websites offer the official IP license and declare strict requirements for applicants to be eligible for such a license. Curaçao eGaming has also developed a seal of approval and offers a blacklist that can be used to identify the reputable casinos while the bad apples are filtered out.
The application for a license itself takes place in clear steps and takes about two to four weeks. According to the website of Curaçao eGaming, there is strict monitoring that an online casino meets all requirements. The costs of the license can vary but the application fee is usually around $40,000 on average.
The official government agency CIGA does not have a website as previously mentioned. It has been repeatedly criticized for this by the Dutch government and various media outlets in recent years. But it still moves in the background and, for that reason, it’s unclear what exact role the agency plays. According to Curaçao eGaming, their core tasks are consultation, online gambling licenses, and monitoring. What this means in concrete terms is not further outlined.
Together with the licenses, Curaçao eGaming also offers various business solutions for online casinos. This includes, for example, servers, data storage, administrative support, and payment methods. This conflict of interest can at least be described as conspicuous for a government agency. Furthermore, online casinos that are registered on Curaçao often have a different seal of approval with the Curaçao coat of arms. After all, Curaçao eGaming is not transparent at all for players.
While there is a lot of talk about strict conditions, these conditions are nowhere to be found. So, it seems that the protection of players is in the hands of a company that has filled the void left by the government through the poor organization. In many ways, Curaçao eGaming resembles well-maintained websites from licensing authorities à la Malta and the UK. They keep an eye on the casinos and seem to handle complaints from players.
However, this neat first appearance has many catches. Curaçao eGaming's earnings model aims to assist the casinos in setting up the casino. Therefore, when you file a complaint about a casino, Curaçao eGaming must take action against its own customers. For that reason, a player can not rely on the regulator to step in as a mediator in the case of a dispute with the casino. Furthermore, there are no mandatory tools for responsible gaming. In many Curaçao online casinos, you won’t be able to find any options to set up spending limits or self-exclusion.